How can I get my kid to stop whining?
Don't be surprised if you get hit with a flurry of bad behavior if you start trying to ignore a particular bad habit, such as whining. This phenomenon is so common, in fact, that behavioral scientists have actually given it its own name—extinction burst. (Just for the record, it's the behavior that's on the endangered species list, not your child!)
An extinction burst is your child's last-ditch effort to make a behavior that has always worked for him in the past (such as whining up a storm) come through for him again this time around.
Although an extinction burst can be extremely frustrating to deal with, if you stick to your guns and give your child attention only when he's exhibiting the desired behavior—in this case, not whining—you'll slowly but surely reduce his incentive to whine.
If, on the other hand, you finally crack after listening to an hour or two of whining and reward him for that whining, you've just taught him that those marathon whining sessions do, in fact, pay off, and consequently, you've just undone all your hard work.